fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Terra, Spain; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "ADL LOTTERIA ESPANA" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 09:12:25 +0200
Subject: ATTN:MY GOOD FRIEND
Attn: My Good Friend,
My name is Capt. gill an American soldier. I was serving in the military of the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. I am in Iraq at the moment. I and my partner moved one of the boxes containing funds which we believe belonging to Late Saddam Hussein in March 2007, the total fund in this box is$15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars).And this fund had been moved via a safe Diplomatic Courier Service to a secured security company.
Please click on this link view:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
Basically since we are working for the American government we cannot keep these funds, we are 3 that are involved. This means that you will take 30 percent, I will take 30 percent, and my partner will take 30 percent, 10 percent will be kept aside for expenses. This business is confidential, and we plead that it should not be discussed with anyone.
There is no risk involved as we left this fund in the Security Company without declaring its contents for this period of time to make sure that the fund will be safe for transfer and investment.
If you are interested I will send you the full details, my job is to find a good partner that we can trust and will assist us.
Kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest including your telephone/fax numbers for quick communication and also your contact details. I assure you that this transaction is risk free and its success is 100% guaranteed,
Please help us to help you. And get in touch with me through this my private email:email@example.com